Dead Man's Cell Phone

An optimistic woman makes amends for a deceased stranger in Sarah Ruhl’s stage comedy Dead Man's Cell Phone. Jennifer Decker, artistic director of Mildred's Umbrella Theatre Company, plays Jean, a kindhearted soul who just wants everyone to be happy — even if she has to tell them outrageous lies in order to achieve that.

The dead man was a bit of a louse. He cheated on his wife and was mean to his mistress and extremely rude to everyone else. He was a grade-A, all-around jackass. When he fails to answer his constantly ringing cell phone (because he’s dead), Jean picks it up and gradually becomes involved in his caustic and complicated relationships.

The quirky, dark comedy may seem to be a bit mainstream for Mildred’s Umbrella, which usually mounts avant-garde theater works. Decker says the company couldn’t resist tackling the offbeat play. “Everyone is so connected to their devices, they aren’t connected to each other,” she says. “Jean connects them. Instead of attending to her own life, she’s trying to make everyone else’s memories of this really unpleasant guy happy. She tells them what they need to hear, and even though it’s really out there, they believe her.”

8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and April 2. Through April 7. Spring Street Studios, 1824 Spring Street. For information, call 832-463-0409 or visit www.mildredsumbrella.com. Pay-what-you-like to $15.
Wed., March 21; Thursdays-Saturdays; Mon., April 2. Starts: March 21. Continues through April 7, 2012

 
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